Last Shift: Review. By Joe Muldoon.
Somewhat atmospherically reminiscent of John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13, Last Shift is a one-location psychological horror from the mind of director Anthony DiBlasi. Starting off with her first shift on the job, rookie cop Jessica (Juliana Harkavy) is assigned the last shift in a police station before its closure. After a brief premises tour by the curmudgeon commanding officer Cohen (Hank Stone), Jessica is left to her own devices, the shift due to be a solo operation until a later scheduled HAZMAT team visit.
Boredom rather quickly setting in, she finds herself nodding off into her book – until loud knocking snatches her away from sleep’s embrace. After finding nobody at the precinct doors, Jessica is startled to find a dishevelled man urinating on the foyer floor, either oblivious or indifferent to her disgusted commands for him to leave. After removing the pest, she returns to the office in which she has decided to take refuge for the night, and the telephone begins to ring despite the line having supposedly been rerouted after the station’s fate was decided.
On the other side of the line is a teenage girl who gives her name as Monica, claiming that she’s being held in an unknown location by an unknown party. After trying to relay the scant details from the distress call to the active police precinct, Jessica subsequently finds herself at the heart of increasingly terrifying activity around the station, and so begins the true terror of the last shift.
Last Shift is a very enjoyable spine-tingler, and with a gradually hastening buildup towards its shocking crescendo, the line between horror and thriller is deliciously blurred. Though some of its scares and Mansonesque characters border upon cliché, the supernatural factor is enough to keep things exciting. The classic ‘less is more’ mantra applies here, with the most impressive sequences being those shrouded in tension and mystery. In the vast sea of mediocre direct-to-video indie B-horrors, Last Shift offers itself as a rather welcome beacon of enjoyment.
By Joe Muldoon.
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